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Lecture 2

Week 22 - Social Psychology I

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PSYC 100
Dr.Ada Mullett

Week 22: Social Psychology The Self How does the way you think about yourself affect your actions, and how do other people affect the way you think about yourself?  Describe the self-concept and how schemata guide our interpretation of people’s behaviour, including our own  Explain self-esteem and how people manage their self-esteem  Social Psychology: study of how someone’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviours are influenced by the social context The Examines Self  Self-Schema: beliefs people have about themselves that guide how they process self-relevant info – how they store and categorize info about themselves  Self-Concept: perception of self, including thoughts, knowledge, feelings, and ideas about oneself  Self-concept is like a library, and self-schema the books  Schematicity is how important a self-schema is to a person’s self-concept, while Aschematis is not having a schema for a particular categorization or situation  These also affect how we judge and view others, and how we remember pas events Self-Knowledge  Self-Awareness: recognizing oneself as a distinct entity  Introspection is looking inward towards ones thoughts or feelings, some argue we are not always really aware of these thoughts or reasons behind them though  Affective Forecasting: predicting how you would feel about a future emotional even  People are terrible at this, generally overestimating devastation and duration  Self-Perception Theory: internal cues sometimes hard to interpret, so people determine their attitude/feelings by observing their own behaviours  Our self-concept is affected by how we think others perceive us given their behaviour towards us: Looking-Glass Self, other people serve as mirrors in which we see ourselves Culture and Identity  Individualistic cultures describe themselves using attitudes, personality traits, and abilities  Collectivist cultures describe themselves in terms of relational roles and group membership  Social Comparison Theory: people evaluate their own abilities and opinions through comparison  Culture affects how we describe ourselves (I am intelligent/ I am a brother) Self-Esteem  Self-concept is a cognitive evaluation, while self-esteem is an emotional one: how we feel about ourselves  Sociometer Theory: self-esteem evolved as a way to measure interpersonal relationships  Terror Management Theory: human behaviour is motivated by fear of our own mortality  Leary and Baumeister argue for Sociometer theory; o Strong correlation between self-esteem and acceptance/rejection of others o Things that increase your self-esteem generally increase others opinions of you o Self-esteem increases after praise, decreases after rejection o Private feedback doesn’t effect self-esteem while public feedback does  Jeff Greenberg argues that people are motivated to pursue high self-esteem since it acts as a buffer against anxiety brought on by awareness of our mortality  Sometimes people self-handicap themselves to give them a scapegoat for failure  Basking in Reflected Glory (BIRGing) is associating yourself with the winning team to enhance self-esteem  Cut off Reflected Failure (CORF): “they lost”, disassociation with losing team  Downward Social Comparisons are made to make ourselves feel better by comparing with others (or our past selves) who are/were worse off  Self-Serving Cognition: general beliefs about the self that serve to enhance self-esteem o Better than average effect o Unrealistic optimism (tendency to link personal attributes with desirable outcomes) o Self-serving attributors (your success is due to your competency, your failure is due to his incompetence)  Self-Discrepancy Theory: self-esteem and emotional states determined by the match/mismatch between our actual selves and how we want to see ourselves o Ought Self (what you and others think you should be), ideal self (what you and others want you to be), and actual self (self-concent) o Actual/ought discrepancy = negative outcome, anxiety o Actual/ideal discrepancy = lack of positive outcome (I can’t do that), dejection, depression Perceptions of Others How do you perceive other people, and how do these perceptions affect the way you think, feel, or behave?  Describe the personal and situational attributions and the types of information used in making such judgements  Describe the heuristics used in social cognition and the fallacies associated with them  Describe the factors in impression formation, and the process by which we reach impressions Attributions  Bystander Effect: less likely to help when there are many people around  Five steps to the bystander effect are… o Notice what is happening o Interpret as an emergency o Assuming personal responsibility o Knowledge to help o Making decision to be involved  Diffusion of Responsibility: tendency for witnesses to assume that someone else will intervene  Identity Fusion: individual’s personal identity become equivalent to their social identity as a member of a certain group o Explains extreme behaviours  Attributions: explanations for the causes of one’s own and other’s behaviour  Covariation Principle (Harold Kelly): attribution theory where people make causual inferences to explain behaviour  Three kinds of covariation info used to make attributions… o Consistency: over time  Strange trait, as high consistency is necessary to confirm either internal or external factors. Low consistency translates to confusion o Consensus: do others react in the same way? o Distinctiveness: high when same person reacts differently in other situations Attribution Errors  Representative Heuristic: mental shortcut used to judge membership in a group based on a typical example, or prototype, of that group  When using heuristics, people ignore Base Rate; total number of occurrences (probability)  Availability Heuristic: mental shortcut used to judge likelihood/frequency of events based on info from memory  Anchoring Heuristic: mental shortcut used to estimate value or size based on a suggested starting point  Fundamental Attribution Error: overestimating the impact of personal factors and underestimating impact of situational factors when attributing causes of behaviour o Nurses are helpful and nurturing  Belief in a Just World: belief that people get what they deserve in life; a fundamental attribution error that causes us to believe that someone’s misfortune was deserved, that it was their fault  Actor-Observer Effect: the tendency to attribute one’s own behaviour to external factors but other’s behaviour to internal factors  Self-Serving Bias: tendency to attribute our accomplishments and successes to internal causes and our failures and mistakes to external causes o Protects our self-esteem  False Consensus: tendency of people to perceive their own response as representative of a general consensus. o We don’t like to believe that we’re too different from other people  Knowledge-Across-Situations Hypothesis: people judge the behaviour of others they know well to be more flexible and dependent on the situation than those they know less well o “I’m smiling because it’s a beautiful day” vs. “they’re smiling because they’re happy”  Visible-Orientation Hypothesis: attribute behaviour to personality differently for others than ourselves because we see the environment only through our own eyes, but focus on other people and ignore the environment from their standpoint  These are learned and influenced by environment Forming Impressions  Impression Formation: combining info to arrive at an overall evaluation or a set of beliefs about their attributes  Impressions are influenced by: o Person Positive Bias: viewing individuals more favourable than groups o Trait Negativity Basis: more influenced by negative than positive info o Primacy Effect: earlier presented info is most influential (we already think we know them)  The Continuum Model of Impression Formation (Susan Fiske and Steve Neuberg) says that if someone doesn’t fit in a group, we’ll engage in more elaborate, controlled impression formation of them o Initial Categorization: based on physical appearance o Personal Relevance: will you be interacting with them? o Attention
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